David M. Rubenstein Senior Fellow for Energy and the Environment and Director of the Program on Energy Security and Climate Change
Climate change; energy policy; weapons of mass destruction; homeland security; arms control and proliferation; technology and foreign policy; science and technology in the Islamic world.
This symposium is on the record.
This event was made possible through generous support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Alcoa Foundation, and the Robina Foundation.
Most discussion--in the media, think tanks, the U.S. government, and elsewhere--has focused on how to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons or a nuclear weapons capability. This is not surprising. Like its predecessors and U.S. allies in Western Europe and the Middle East, the Obama administration has said that Iranian acquisition of nuclear weapons would be "unacceptable." Yet a real prospect remains that efforts to prevent Iran from going nuclear will fail. Therefore, an examination of the options that the United States has should Tehran develop a weapon is crucial.
CFR's "Deterring a Nuclear Iran" Program focuses on U.S. options for containing a nuclear-armed Iran should that country obtain nuclear weapons. The program is directed by Senior Vice President, Director of Studies, and Maurice R. Greenberg Chair James Lindsay; Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies Elliott Abrams; and David M. Rubenstein Senior Fellow for Energy and the Environment Michael Levi. It aims to bring together analysis from numerous experts about whether effective deterrence would be possible, what it would require, and what the regional effects of an Iranian nuclear weapon and American deterrence activities would be.
This program has been made possible by the generous support of the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
Chaired by former Governor of New York George E. Pataki, counsel at Chadbourne & Parke LLP, and former Governor of Iowa Thomas J. Vilsack, of counsel at Dorsey & Whitney LLP, the Task Force will address U.S. climate change policy with an emphasis on its international dimensions. Michael A. Levi, fellow for science and technology, serves as project director, with David G. Victor, adjunct senior fellow for science and technology and director of the Program on Energy and Sustainable Development at Stanford University, as senior advisor.
The Task Force will examine the economics, science, and politics of climate change, and will propose a comprehensive strategy for addressing the challenges and seizing the possibilities that climate change creates, with special emphasis on those dimensions that explicitly involve foreign policy.
The Task Force held its first meeting in July 2007, under the leadership of Governor Pataki and former Virginia Governor Mark R. Warner, who stepped down from his role as co-chair to pursue a seat in the U.S. Senate. The group aims to produce a report in the spring of 2008.
Connections between climate change and national security are receiving unprecedented attention from policymakers and analysts. In March 2007, Senators Richard Durbin and Chuck Hagel introduced a bill requesting that the National Intelligence Council draft a National Intelligence Estimate to assess the security implications of climate change. In April 2007, the CNA Corporation released a report overseen by retired generals that documents the links between climate and national security. The British government initiated a similar discussion in the United Nations Security Council in the same month.
This Council Special Report (CSR) will move the discussion from broad assessments of the links between climate and security to a plan for action. It will examine whether climate change poses a direct security threat to the United States, and will identify the security assets that will be affected by climate change. Finally, it will outline the policies that the United States should adopt to protect critical infrastructure, and military bases from these effects.
Preventing the spread of nuclear weapons is a key goal of American foreign policy, yet sometimes nonproliferation fails. This series explores ways the United States can prepare to deal with states that, despite our best efforts, acquire nuclear weapons.
New York, New York
CFR David M. Rubenstein Senior Fellow for Energy and the Environment
In The Power Surge, Michael Levi takes readers inside the changes sweeping American energy to find out what they mean for the country and how the United States can harness the new opportunities they create.